Twenty artists who earned the most public votes for their work during the recent Surrey Artists Open Studios event have qualified for the Surrey Artist of the Year competition and exhibition.

The top 20 were Cathy Brett, Jane Browne, Eli D, Emma Godden, Ellen Grace, Keira Graham, Luke Hawker, Hue and Bristle, Denise Jaques, David Johns, Sophie Kathleen, Faye Mayo, Vicky O’Leary, Jo Olney, Esther Pritchard, Laura Ritchie, Louise Rowe, Lindsey Southworth, Dawn Thornhill and Angie Wallace.

The free exhibition at the New Ashgate Gallery in Farnham begins with a private viewing on Friday, September 23, from 6pm to 8pm.

It will be open to the public from Saturday, September 24, to Saturday, November 5. The gallery is open from Tuesday to Saturday between 10.30am and 5pm.

Visitors will be encouraged to vote for an artist during the exhibition until midday on Friday, October 14.

The artist with the most votes from the public and the judging panel will be named Surrey Artist of the Year 2022 during an award ceremony at 7pm on October 14.

The winner will receive a bursary of £1,000, a solo show at the New Ashgate Gallery and a free winner’s stand at the Surrey Contemporary Art Fair.

The competition is a partnership between the New Ashgate Gallery and the Surrey Artists Open Studios to celebrate the wealth of creative talent in Surrey.

Art on show will include paintings, glass work, textiles, ceramics and collage or assemblage book and paper art.

Jessica Stroud, who was Surrey Artist of the Year 2021, will return to the gallery for her solo exhibition.

For more than 20 years she has designed and made unique pieces in stained glass, from small decorative items and commemorative panels and hangings to window and door panels.

Her garden is bordered by two hedges which are alive with wildlife. This exhibition combines her love of nature and her skill of creating traditional Arts and Crafts stained glass.

She said: “I was delighted to win Surrey Artist of the Year 2021, which has given me the opportunity to put together this showcase of new work.”